A Comparative Analysis Of The Structure And Formation Of Languages Kurdish And English

Background of Study

Language represents a very significant development in the human history and one that has catapulted the human race to continued development over the years. De Valoes (2014) highlight that languages not only enable communication between people for common understanding, but also classifies people in different ethnic groups which enable a sense of culture and direction among a people. A wide range of languages exist all across the globe for different groups of people all of which exhibit similar characteristics in their structure and development (University of Maryland, 2014). Some of the components commonly making up most languages include phonemes, morphemes, lexemes, syntax and context all of which work in conjunction with grammar and semantics to create meaningful messages for communication among individual speakers of different languages. However most commonly and importantly all languages have some form of alphabet from where all these components and elements are based. Lack of a defined alphabet therefore leads to a distorted language that is more of slang than an official language (Koneva, 2014).

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Zakiryanov (2015) points out that Comparative study of two languages of different structures has both theoretical and practical significance and enables the identification similar and distinctive features, finding a general and specific event that helps to penetrate deeper into the inner workings of each of the compared languages and understand their national identity. This study aims to compare Kurdish and English languages to identify the limitations of Kurdish language that has led to its subsided use over the years. The Kurdish language is one of the indoeurobean languages that are very rich in dialects and idioms and despite the Kurdish speakers practically inventing the first Alphabet in the world using it in writing and subsequently inventing the codification of human civilization (Kuiper, 2014), there is no official Kurdish language spoken currently by more than 50 million Kurds. The language has different dialects that are very rich in individualities and rules and in fact almost every Kurdish dialect has the capability of being an independent language.

Aims and Objectives

The study looks to comparatively analyze two different languages, English and Kurdish specifically with the aim to highlight the difference in their structure which has led to the subdued use of the Kurdish language and increased adoption of its dialects which are becoming quite complex and rich as to actually be considered independent languages. For purpose of direction of study, the aim is broken down into individual more specific objectives which also highlight the research questions. These include:

Objectives

  • To evaluate the structure and development of English Language including all the dialects that stem from it
  • To evaluate the structure and development of Kurdish language including all its dialects
  • To compare the structure and development of English and Kurdish language

Significance of the Study

Language not only connect human beings through enabling communication and interaction which fosters growth and development but also marks a peoples culture, origin as well as practices and unify them as people of one descent and community. However with increased dialect development and slang use in metropolitan regions new cultures are developed which in turn overshadow others leading to the loss of cultural heritage that have unified people for centuries. This study enables the study and evaluation of the structure and formation of the Kurdish language which is on the verge of succumbing to dialects thereby enabling the revival of a cultural heritage that is critical.

Literature Review

Languages are developed from different elements, components and characteristics which underpin their use and understanding in different concepts and contexts used by the speakers. According to the University of Maryland (2014), in the English language, words and sentences are developed from the Alphabet and have parts that combine in patterns exhibiting the grammar of the language. While phonology studies the patterns in sound or gesture, syntax and semantics involve studying patterns in sentence structures and formation. Koneva (2014) further likens this structure to apply for other languages as Russian and German, Italian and French as well as other commonly spoken languages globally.

The Kurdish language is one of the Indo-European languages that are very rich in dialects and idioms and despite the Kurdish speakers practically inventing the first Alphabet in the world using it in writing and subsequently inventing the codification of human civilization (Kuiper, 2014), there is no official Kurdish language spoken currently by more than 50 million Kurds. This is mainly due to the wars and invasions on the land of the Kurds during the Sumerian Era. The language has different dialects that are very rich in individualities and rules and in fact almost every Kurdish dialect has the capability of being an independent language. Ager (2012) points out that this is a healthy phenomenon and can be used in the rebuilding of a unified Kurdish language, however, the bases of Kurdish dialects are quite close to each other due to stemming from one origin with the same consonants and phonotactics characters.

Ludwig (2008) points out that while the Kurds who speak in different dialects can be able to understand each other quite well without an intermediary, the main issue facing the Kurds is the absence of a unified alphabet thereby making it hard to learn the language. An evaluation of the language and development of the unified alphabet is the basic rule for the unification of the dialects into a singular language.

Research Methodology

Kumar (2005) defines research methodology as the application of science in the various processes and activities concerned with a research study. It involves a progressive outline of the procedures and guidelines involved in the actual research study aimed at deducing inferences and conclusions from findings derived from the application of scientific tools, techniques and principles.

Research Approach

Given the study looks into the evaluation of a language the research approach adopted for the study includes the use of a qualitative study approach. Griffith (2009) highlights that qualitative approaches involves the detailed exploration and analysis of a particular topic as opposed to quantitative approaches, which are concerned with measures, variables, and correlations. In addition, qualitative methodologies include open, exploratory questions versus closed-ended hypotheses, unlimited and emergent descriptions versus pre-determined choices or rating scales and the possibility of discovering new conditions or phenomena as opposed to confirming what was hypothesized (Elliot & Timulak, 2005).

Research Methods

Research methods describe the methods that will be involved in the data collection process. This research will apply a secondary study which entails content analysis of existing literature regarding the development and formation as well as the structures of the two different languages. An in-depth analysis of different scholarly materials regarding language formation of different languages with specific bias to English and Kurdish will be carried out to provide information that enables the answering of the research questions.

Data Analysis

The analysis of the data collected through secondary sources will be carried out through content analysis and thematic analysis. According to Braun and Clarke (2006), thematic analysis is a qualitative research method of analysis that takes into account the identification, analyzing and reporting of patterns, themes, and connections available within raw data while Content analysis looks deep into the insights presented by other scholars who have studied and written on various concepts around the topic of study. Inter relating these ideas to each other and developing a trend pattern that can help develop inferences and conclusions.

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References

  • Ager, S. (2012). Kurdish language, alphabets and pronunciation. [online] Omniglot.com. Available at: https://www.omniglot.com/writing/kurdish.htm [Accessed 14 Jun. 2019].
  • De Valoes, L. (2014). Importance of Language – Why Learning a Second Language is Important | Continuing Education - Trinity Washington University. [online] Trinitydc.edu. Available at: https://www.trinitydc.edu/continuing-education/2014/02/26/importance-of-language-why-learning-a-second-language-is-important/ [Accessed 14 Jun. 2019].
  • Koneva, E. (2014). The Role of Comparative Analysis in Foreign Language Learning (German and Russian languages). Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 154, pp.319-323.
  • Kuiper, K. (2014). Kurdish language. [online] Encyclopedia Britannica. Available at: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Kurdish-language [Accessed 14 Jun. 2019].
  • Ludwig, P. (2008). KURDISH LANGUAGE i. HISTORY OF THE KURDISH LA – Encyclopaedia Iranica. [online] Iranicaonline.org. Available at: http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/kurdish-language-i [Accessed 14 Jun. 2019].
  • University of Maryland (2014). Language Structure and Meaning | Language Science. [online] Languagescience.umd.edu. Available at: https://languagescience.umd.edu/language-structure-and-meaning [Accessed 14 Jun. 2019].
  • Zakiryanov, K. (2015). Comparative study of languages of different structures: linguistic and methodological aspects. Rossiiskii Gumanitarnyi Zhurnal, 4(3), p.224.

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